One Man In The Middle brings you regular, unbiased and honest reviews of music EPs and albums from Christian artists and musicians, of all styles and abilities, from all over the world. Here we have Alisa Turner by Alisa Turner with an overall review score of 9.1 out of 10.
Worship artist Alisa Turner sings with passion and vulnerability. Her songs capture something almost mystical, yet deeply rooted in the hard stuff of the “now and not yet” grit of the everyday. It’s the lilt and innocence in her voice and the heartbreaking, but hopeful truth of her story.
That story is inextricably woven throughout her self-titled EP (Integrity Music) in a tapestry of grief, suffering, hope and redemption for which there is only one appropriate response: unfettered, unfiltered worship.
“I’ve always written songs about what I’m going through,” says Alisa, who in her early 20s played coffeehouses and colleges and once drove nine hours and played to what turned out to be a completely empty room. “It all comes from the same place, that 13-year old sitting at the piano in the bonus room, writing 90-second songs, playing her heart out for the joy of it, for the hope of it.”
For the joy, for the hope… These are not small concepts for Alisa. These are hard-fought battles, choices made when her faith was just a whimper in a dark corner of the room.
“For anyone who’s prayed a thousand prayers
And still can’t find the answer anywhere
Fighting off the lie that no one cares
For anyone who’s out there losing hope
Feeling you’re forsaken and alone
Clinging to the last strands of your rope.”
We’ve all been there, lying in bed staring at the ceiling, wondering why God hasn’t answered the cry of our heart, we’ve prayed, shed tears over the anguish in our hearts, but heaven seems to have taken on a brassy sheen and the prayers seem to bounce back unanswered. Of course, we’re not meant to mention this in Christian circles, and certainly not in a worship song. So this makes Alisa Turner’s track “My Prayer For You” a little different. The prayer she has is that when faced with the description faced above that “God will give you eyes to see He is greater”. What sounds like a negative song is a positive prayer, but an important acknowledgement that God doesn’t always do what we expect or ask in our lives, but He has a greater plan and purpose. This is what makes Alisa’s new EP stand out from the crowd, it’s worship but it reflects real life, and our disappointments, but also the faith to get up and keep believing.
Of course, the other thing that makes this EP stand out is Alisa’s stunning voice which sits over the music, bringing a beautiful honesty to her worship. The recording starts off with the line “Many are the weapons of my enemies” which is probably quite surprising, but in this case she is asking God to allow her to see the angel armies that surround us, fighting for us. In reference to both Psalm 121 but also 2 Kings 6 when Elisha and the Man Of God are able to see the armies of God surrounding them and outnumbering the enemy. Prayer and worship are sometimes more about lifting our eyes to look at God rather than looking at the nature of our human problems. There is so much scripture weaved throughout this song it is a joy to listen to all the uplifting promises and pictures contained throughout the Bible.
This is inspiring music that is well written, performed beautifully and it’s worship that feels really true to life and circumstances and our journey of faith. I am so glad that Alisa acted on the dream to bring this EP to life, and perhaps that is one of the best stories that are not often told. It’s been 7 years since Alisa last released any music, but she finally took the plunge and put up a GoFundMe page, she raised just over half of her goal, but then Integrity Music signed her, so she has been able to bring this EP to the world ad I am so glad she did. Sh has a distinctive voice and a great way with words, I just wish it was a full album. If you need a pick-me-up, something to remind you that God is worth trusting or somewhere to look beyond the circumstances that you find yourself in then this could be just what you need!
For track listing & snippets, ranking breakdown and more, check out onemaninthemiddle.com